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Batavia HS

December 9, 2018 - 8:29am

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Genesee Ice Devils visited Geneseo Ice Knights last evening at SUNY Geneseo State College. Both teams were exchanging possession but remained scoreless through the first period. Senior Jackson Backus found the back of the net three minutes into the second period; assist by AJ Versage.

Both teams had a wide variety of penalties until eight minutes into the third period when Genesee's Evan Dusky tied the game 1-1 off a pass from Noah Martin that finished the game through regulation.

Genesee started the overtime down two players from penalties, but defense protected goalie Alexander Hunt who was a star saver for the Ice Devils that stopped 43 shots. Isaac Sweet made 25 saves.

Genesee Ice Devils Head Coach John Kirkwoods said following the game,  "I’m proud of our team tonight after dropping a tough game on Tuesday. This past week was a focus of a few tough practices.

"I preach to our guys all the time that we are a very hard working team, we don’t quit and we keep coming at you, no matter the score or the situation. Our squad is a coming together to be a very competitive team. 

"I am very proud of our guys. Tonight improved our abilities to overcome challenge teams like Geneseo. It was a step forward for us for our program."

Next game for Genesee is at home against Aquinas this Tuesday night, Dec 11th, at Falleti Ice Arena at 6 o'clock.

To view more photos click here.

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December 8, 2018 - 4:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, basketball, news.

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Head Coach Buddy Brasky has warned us that, at least at the start, this will be a challenging season for the Batavia Blue Devils and the team got off to a rocky start with a 43-39 lose to Honeoye Falls-Lima.

An 18-point fourth-quarter rally might be something for Batavia to build on, but it wasn't enough to overcome HFL's 15-point lead at the end of three quarters.

Batavia was beset by turnovers early in the game and went through one four-minute period in the second quarter without hitting a basket.

The team has lost a key component of the offense with Antwan Odom out for the season after getting arrested late in the summer and Mason McFollins, Ethan Biscaro, Cam White, and Caeden White are all out of action, too.

The team is also off to a slow start because the football team had such a great season, reaching the state championship game, so prior to last night's game, Brasky had been able to lead only four practices with a full squad.

Luke Grammatico led Batavia's scorers with 11 points, including a pair of threes in the fourth quarter. Zach Gilebarte scored eight points and Joe Martinucci added six.

For HFL, Trevor Chamberlain scored 19 points and Josh Vogt scored 16.

Photos by Steve Ognibene. To view or purchase photos click here.

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December 5, 2018 - 3:21pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, notify.

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This fall, not only were Batavia High School sports teams finding success in competition, the athletes were succeeding as well in the classroom, Athletic Director Michael Bromley told the school district board at their regular monthly meeting Tuesday.

Across 10 fall sports, the school had 75 students qualify as scholar-athletes, Bromley said, meaning they scored at least above 90 percent in academic standing. Many of the athletes, he said scored ranked over 95 percent.

"Only five kids this fall were on academic probation," Bromley said.

Bromley's presentation was an annual review of the athletic department.

Each fall, there are seven girls sports programs in grades seven through 12 with 17 total teams (including JV and modified), and there are three programs for the boys in the fall with eight total teams.

In the winter, there are four girls programs, 10 teams, and six boys programs, 15 teams; and in the spring, two girls programs and seven teams and five boys programs and 13 teams.

In all, there are 78 coaches in the district.

"It's always a challenge to find coaches who are available to do the work at the time of day that we do what we do," Bromley said.

For grades seven-12, 53 percent of the students participate in at least one sport during the school year. That's higher than the 39 percent rate in 1999 but lower than the highest level of the past 10 years, which was 57 percent.

For all this activity, athletics isn't even 2 percent of the district's total budget.

In some sports, such as hockey, the school combines with other schools to create a team. In the case of gymnastics, BHS wouldn't even be able to offer the sport if not for merged programs since there are only five girls participating.

The merged wrestling program -- with Attica -- has won consecutive Section V championships, which has helped the program retain athletes while attracting new participants. There are now 15 wrestlers at the school and the merged program is moving up to Division 1 where they expect to continue to be competitive.

One thing Bromley looked at doing was using the gym walls to bring more recognition to players who achieved All-State or All-Greater Rochester honors. But realized that could get expensive so he found a program that allowed him to put a touch-screen TV outside the gym. It contains a wealth of information about BHS athletics, including the latest schedules, pictures, and recognition for all of the school's standout athletes and Hall of Fame members.

It has the added bonus of being available online.

Bromley said that as far as he knows, this is the first such touch-screen TV for school athletics in the state.

December 5, 2018 - 7:29am

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Ryann Stefaniak driving in for a layup.

The Batavia High Varsity Girls Basketball Team shook off some early jitters on the offensive end of the court by turning to an effective full-court press on the defensive end en route to a season-opening 55-37 victory over host Irondequoit in a Monroe County inter-divisional game Tuesday night.

Senior guard Ryann Stefaniak led the way for Batavia with 20 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore guards Mackenzie Reigle and Bryn Wormley added 10 apiece.

Senior forward Jenae Colkey chipped in with seven while senior center Meghan Houseknecht scored six.

Coach Marty Hein’s squad looked tight at the outset, missing several layups and turning the ball over a half-dozen times in the opening period, which ended in a 14-14 tie.

After Irondequoit took a 15-14 lead early in the second quarter, Batavia went to the press and that sparked an 8-2 run with Reigle, Colkey and Emma Krolczyk scoring on the break and Houseknecht hitting from inside.

Houseknecht scored again in the final minute of the half to give Batavia a 27-22 lead.

Batavia, staying with the press that resulted in many Irondequoit turnovers, put the game away in the third quarter with an 11-2 run. Stefaniak had eight of those points on a three-pointer, two driving layups on assists from Colkey and a free throw, while Colkey had the other three.

The Lady Devils’ advantage was 44-27 after the third quarter and they coasted from there.

Irondequoit was led by junior guard Alahna Paige’s eight points. Paige, a 19-points-per-game scorer last season, was hampered by foul trouble throughout.

Both teams shot poorly from the foul line. Batavia was 7-for-17 while Irondequoit went 11-for-25.

The Lady Devils’ next game is scheduled for Dec. 11 at Greece Athena.

To view or purchase photos click here.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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Mackenzie Reigle pushes the ball up court as Jenae Colkey advances.

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Meghan Houseknecht looks to rebound.

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Kennedy Kolb battles for the ball as Emma Krolczyk looks on.

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Krolczyk goes in uncontested.

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Colkey knocks the ball away from Irondequoit's Rebeca McGwin.

December 4, 2018 - 4:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in BHS Drama Club, Batavia HS, batavia, news, arts, entertainment.

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BHS Drama Club presents a stage adaption of "It's a Wonderful Life" this weekend, featuring Cameron Bontrager as George Bailey, in the classic story of a man who stayed in his small town only to reach a point where felt his life hadn't made a difference, then learns what a difference he did make with the help of his guardian angel, Clarence.

Featured cast:

  • George Bailey - Cameron Bontrager (senior)
  • Mary Bailey - Eryn Dunn (senior)
  • Clarence - Riley Macdonough (sophomore)
  • Janie Bailey - Macayla Burke (junior)
  • Pete Bailey - Colin Dunn (freshman)
  • Tommy Bailey - Marla Schlaggel (freshman)
  • Zuzu Bailey - Kayla Stone (freshman)
  • Mr. Potter - Michael Bartz (freshman)
  • Potter's Secretary - Fay Pimlada Pattarachaidaecharuch (exchange student) 

The adaption was written by Doug Rand from the original screenplay by Francis Goodrich, Albert, Hackett, Frank Capra and Jo Swerling.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors.

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November 24, 2018 - 10:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, football, news, notify.

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What if Ethan Biscaro wasn't injured in the first quarter Saturday of Batavia's Class B state championship football game at the Carrier Dome?

Could Batavia have maintained its early lead, its early momentum, and held off Joseph Girard and the Glens Falls Indians, instead of losing 55-32?

We'll never know.

Biscaro's injury certainly isn't the only reason Batavia lost. The Blue Devils made their mistakes and missed their opportunities but, truth be told, Girard is one heck of a quarterback.

To whatever degree last week's game against Skaneateles and their athletic QB Patrick Hackler prepared the Blue Devils to face an athletic, strong-armed QB, it wasn't enough. Hackler was good but he wasn't Joseph Girard III good.

Experienced sportswriters in the press box were raving about Girard by the fourth quarter, the best high school quarterback they've ever seen, some of them said.

Girard showed arm strength, touch, accuracy, and savvy on the field, as well as strength and quickness that enabled to him to turn what looked like sacks for lost yards into gains, into first downs, and even into touchdowns. 

For example, with Batavia leading 14-0 in the second quarter, Girard, from Batavia's 19-yard line, tries a keeper to his right and finds the path cutoff and he appears pinned in a corner near the sideline but he swings out wide into his own backfield and starts running toward the far side with Cam White in pursuit. Just as it appears White would snag his jersey, somehow Girard steps ahead of him and now has the entire defense beat on the far side of the field. He scores to give Glen Falls its first six points.

"He is a great football player, obviously a division one athlete," said Batavia Coach Brennan Briggs. "We had our opportunities, I think, and you know, he was very difficult to get a hold of. We simulated all we can in practice but at the end of the day, you have got to come up your make plays."

While officially, Girard gained only 15 yards on the ground on 15 carries, with two TDs, he was 10-18 passing for 314 yards and two TDs on passes.

All this and it was still a big game for Ray Leach, who for the third game in a row gained more than 400 yards, this time picking up 410 yards on 30 carries. He scored three touchdowns and he was clearly exhausted in the second half and playing on sheer determination.

"He's just a tough kid, he loves football," Briggs said. "He wanted to be out here so he did whatever it took to be out here."

With 1,645 yards over the final four games, Leach ends the year with 2,826 rushing yards, breaking the season Section V record of Hornell's Austin Dwyer, 2,826 yards, set in 2009.

A former Blue Devil who played for Batavia last year when the team opened the season in the Carrier Dome said a factor in that game was the heat on the field. As the game wears on the Dome warms up.

Ironically, the Carrier Dome is not air-conditioned.

Leach said he and his teammates were feeling the heat.

"The temperature was a little different than we've been playing and we had to get used to the heat," Leach said. "It's definitely a big adjustment. We're a little tired. I just had to rely on my line and keep on the ball hard."

Leach could be seen at one point in the third quarter with his hands on his knees. The sign of a winded athlete. Still, Leach went on to break off a couple of long runs in the second half, including an 80-yard touchdown run that avoided contact with every Glens Falls player on the field.

The turning point, if there was one, may have been Biscaro's injury. Batavia went on to score on that drive, thanks to a 46-yard pass from Leach to Taiyo Iburi-Bethel on the first play after Biscaro left the field. But that didn't reveal how unsettled the offense would become without Biscaro.

That score gave Batavia a 14-0 lead but it was clear how much things changed on the next Blue Devils' possession, which began with a successful onside kick. The play calling was slow and a combination of Leach and Alex Rood in the backfield lacked the tempo and organization of a Biscaro-led offense.

The Blue Devils were unable to convert that opportunity into points on the board and with Glens Falls scoring on its next possession, momentum seems to have shifted in the Indians favor.

Briggs said losing Biscaro hurt on both sides of the ball.

"He's a huge part of our offense and our defense so there's no question about it, that hurt a lot but, hey, I'm the football coach and you've got to figure out how to get it done and I didn't do that."

Biscaro did take the field to start the second half but Batavia was still unable to get back in rhythm, and after taking another hit that sent him to the turf in pain, Biscaro was once again lifted from the game.

Briggs tried a few different looks with the offense with Biscaro out -- Leach along in the backfield, Leach at QB with Rood at running back, Rood taking the snaps, along with reverses, flea-flickers, end-arounds, and the offense wasn't able to execute consistently.

One of Batavia's touchdowns in the fourth quarter came after a pass to Andrew Francis bounced off his hands, into the air and toward the end zone. Iburi-Bethel grabbed the pop-up fly, turn, ran and scored.

That and Leach's 80-yard run where among the few bright spots for the Batavia offense without Biscaro.

Briggs blamed himself, not the dropped passes, the fumbled snaps, the miscommunication on the field.

"We ran a lot of wildcat stuff with Ray but obviously everybody's keying on him," Briggs said. "He's not a pure passer back there so we tried to do a few different things. But you know, it didn't totally work out but again we've got to get some stops and you know maybe I should have been a little better prepared for that."

Iburi-Bethel finished with four catches for 82 yards and a TD. Leach had one reception for a 28-yard TD. Biscaro was 5-6 passing for 70 yards and TD.

Besides Girard's heroics for Glens Falls, Trent Girard, one of six Girard cousins in the game, caught seven passes for 183 yards and a TD. David Barclay had two catches for 93 yards and a TD. Aalijah Sampson carried the ball 23 times for 135 yards and four touchdowns.

Batavia had 538 yards and 25:37 time of possession while Glens Falls had 464 total yards and 19:25 time of possession.

For Batavia, Cam White, Joseph Martinucci and Alex Rood all recorded sacks.

Joshua Barber had eight tackles. 

Photos by Jim Burns.

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For more pictures, click here.

November 24, 2018 - 12:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, news, batavia, Batavia HS, notify.

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We're just a couple of minutes from kickoff at the Carrier Dome in the Class B state championship game between the Batavia Blue Devils and the Glens Falls Indians.

We spoke with a former Batavia player before the game who played in last season's opener at the Carrier Dome and he said on that September day it got hot inside the dome. Something to watch for this game -- whether the colder November weather helps keep it cooler in here or if it gets hot and then the effect that has on players. Ironically, the Carrier Dome is not air-conditioned. 

Other keys: Can the Blue Devils keep Indians QB Joseph Girard III in the pocket? And if they can, pressure him while the secondary maintains coverage? Turnovers good be key in a potentially high-scoring game.  

On the Batavia side, it's likely all about Ray Leach, who has gained more than 1,200 yards and scored 22 touchdowns in the last three games. Even if Glens Falls slows Leach, Batavia still has weapons in Ethan Biscaro, Alex Rood and Taiyo Iburi-Bethel.

It looks like Batavia comes into the game with the bigger line on offense and defense.

Check back shortly for updates or tune in to WBTA for the broadcast or WBTAi.com for the live stream.

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Opening kickoff to Batavia is out of the back of the end zone. Batavia starts on the 20-yard line. Leach on the first play, six-yard gain. Leach gets the first down on the next play. On the third play, Leach turns the corner and carries the ball to the Indians 23-yard line, with the last 15 yards gained coming while dragging defenders with him. Leach gains just two on his next carry. Holding penalty. First and 20. Pass to Taiyo Iburi-Bethal for a five-yard game. Leach out wide, pass from Biscaro, he gains 10 before an Indian defender grabs his jersey. Leach drags him five yards and then breaks the tackle. Leach breaks two more tackles and scores. Extra point missed. 6-0 Batavia.

Batavia kickoff out of bounds. Glens Falls starts on its 35. Joseph Girard passes on the first play. Dropped by Trent Girard on the far side. Joseph Girard barely backs it to the line of scrimmage after being held in the pocket and trying to run up the middle. Girard sweeps right and on the run heaves the ball far downfield and the pass is incomplete. Andrew Francis with good coverage. Glens Falls punts. No return.

Batavia starts on its own 26. Leach up the middle on the first play. Two-yard gain. Leach has nowhere to go on the second-down play. He barely makes it back to the line of scrimmage. Biscaro on a long pass to Iburi-Bethel. Complete at the 50-yard line. Iburi-Bethel on an end of round, nine-yard gain. Biscaro from shotgun, fakes a pass to a wideout and then darts up the middle for a three-yard game. First down. Biscaro from the shotgun sacked on a blitz. Second and 16. Biscaro on a keeper, collapses before he reaches the line, untouched and is on the field being tended to by a trainer.

Biscaro limps off the field. He was holding his knee. Third and 17. Leach takes over at QB. Snap to Leach and Leach heaves a high-arching pass intended for Andrew Francis, bounces off his hands and Iburi-Bethel picks the ball out of the air and streaks into the end zone. Touchdown. Leach scores on the two-point conversion. 14-0 Batavia.

Batavia recovers an onside kick at the Glens Falls' 45 yard line. Leach starts at QB and runs off the snap for a three-yard game. Timeout Batavia with 2:47 left in the quarter.

Leach at QB, and he hands the ball to Rood, who gains three yards. Leach back at QB. He drops the snap, recovers, breaks a tackle and sweeps to the nearside and gets back to the line of scrimmage. Fourth and 4. Leach on direct snap, sweeps right and gets six yards. Empty backfield, snap to Leach, runs left and gains three. Clock under 20 seconds, direct snap to Leach who tries running to his right and is tripped up in the backfield and flags fly. Holding on Batavia, 10-yard penalty. That's how the quarter ends. 14-0 Batavia.

Second and 19 for Batavia to start the second quarter. Leach takes the snap, long pass intercepted by Girard and he's tackled on the seven-yard line. Girard misses a pass two passes and then scrambling, nearly sacked in the end zone, on the run throws a long pass to Davi Barclay, complete at Batavia's 33-yard line. Handoff to Aalijah Sampson runs left and carries the ball to the 19-yard line for a first down. Sampson gets handoff again, carries the ball to the four-yard line. First and goal. Girard fakes the handoff and tries to run off tackle and stopped at the line of scrimmage. Batavia's defense again blocks up the middle of the line and Sampson stopped for a one-yard loss. Third down. Sampson rolls out to his right and is pursued. Cam White is on his tail and he reverses direction and as White reaches for him he seems to just take an extra step and eludes White, runs to far sideline, down the line, and into the end zone. Touchdown The extra point is blocked by Andrew Francis. 14-6, Batavia still leads.

Kick to Leach on the five-yard line. He returns it to Batavia's 27. Rood is QB on the first possession. Hands off to Leach for a two-yard gain. Incomplete pass from Rood. Intended for Iburi-Bethel. Rood takes the snap, drops back and feigns pass and then decides to run. Two-yard gain. Batavia will punt on 4th and 7. No return. Glens Falls takes over on its 29.

First and 10, Sampson on the carry for four yards. Girard hits Trent Girard the Indians have first and 10 at the 48-yard line. Girard with a completion to Sampson, nine-yard gain. Girard with plenty of time in the pocket, long pass intended for David Barclay but it falls beyond his diving reach. Girard rolls out, forced to turn back toward the right side and is tackled from behind for a loss by Josh Barber of a yard. Fourth and one. Timeout. There is 5:20 left in the half. Girard has to scramble and his pursued through the backfield, he runs right, gets the first down and cuts back to the middle past nearly every Batavia defender. Before he reaches the end zone with a Batavia player close, he dives and looks like he gets the ball over the line but a ref 15 yards away rules him down at the one-yard line. Sampson scores on the next play and then runs the ball in for the two-point conversion. 14-14.

There is 4:55 left in the half. The kickoff goes out the back of the end zone. Batavia's ball on its own 20. Leach drops the handoff and recovers his own fumble on the 17-yard line. Second and 13. Leach up the middle, finds a hole, cuts to his left, gets a good block and finds open field. He stumbles and recovers, three Indians pursuing him, he heads toward the sideline and outruns a lone defender for a score. That's an 83-yard TD run. Timeout before the extra point. Leach on the carry for a two-point try and he's stuffed at the line. 20-14, Batavia leads.

Batavia again tries an onside kick. The Indians get first and 10 from their own 49-yard line. Girard with a pass to Sampson, complete. Leach tries to shove him out of bounds but he stays on his feet and finds some space. He's tackled at about the 10-yard line. Sampson with the carry to the three-yard line. Sampson with the ball again and sweeps to the left, tackled at the one-yard line. Sampson up the middle for the score. Extra point is good for a 21-20 lead for the Indians. The first time all season Batavia has trailed.

According to our photographer on the sideline, Jim Burns, Ethan Biscaro is being taken by his parents for medical treatment. He's out for the remainder of the game.

Batavia takes over on the 20. Leach breaks free for again to the 38-yard line. Leach with the next carry for a five-yard gain. 2:06 left. Batavia has no timeouts left. On a flea-flicker, Leach throws down to the 20, intended for Iburi-Biscaro, incomplete. Leach with the carry. No gain. Flag on the play. Illegal formation declined. Fourth and three, Batavia will punt. Line-drive punt with a favorable Batavia punt. A 47-yard punt, ball down on the five-yard line.

Sampson on the carry from the five, three-yard gain. Girard is sacked, bringing up third and 17 but Glens Falls lets the clock run out on the half.

The half ends with Glens Falls leading 21-20.

During half-time, Ethan Biscaro was warming up. Apparently, in consultation with his parents, the decision has been made to let him play in the second half.

Batavia's kickoff to start the second half goes to Girard at the 20 who brings it back to the Indians 38, first and 10. Movement by Batavia on the line. Flag. Five-yard penalty. First and five. Girard drops back to pass and seems to have plenty of time to pass and then faces pressure and heads toward the far side and steps out of bounds for a short game. Pass for a first down, ball on the Indians 48. Girard rolls out and throws across the middle of the field to Trent Girard, complete to Batavia's 30. Sampson tripped up in the backfield by Batavia, second and 13. Girard drops deep, scrambles and just before reaching the line, throws a bullet at the knees of a receiver who drops it. Girard begins in the shotgun, scrambles, long pass to the far side, pass broken up by Iburi-Bethel. Fourth and 13. Girard's pass into the end zone, complete for a touchdown to Barclay. Francis wants an offense pass interference flag but doesn't get it. Extra point good. 28-20, Glens Falls.

Batavia starts on its own 20. Biscaro is at QB. Handoff to Leach, five-yard gain. Leach stopped at the line. Pass wide to Iburi-Bethel on the nearside, gain to the 33, making it first and 10. Leach up the middle, five-yard gain. Leach bottled up at the line, but gets two yards before being pushed back. Biscaro has Iburi-Bethel wide open down the middle with a pass to the 35 but Iburi-Bethel drops the pass. Batavia in punt formation. High deep punt by Francis. Glens Falls gets the ball on their own 21.

First play, Sampson dropped for a loss. Girard with a bullet to Trent Girard at the first-down marker on the far side. First down. Girard sacked by Iburi-Bethel. Two-yard loss. Girard on the run finds Trent Girard wide open on the 30. Rood makes a shoe-string tackle on the seven-yard line to save a touchdown. Sampson up the middle. Batavia claims a fumble but doesn't get the call. Ball on the two. Sampson again dropped for a loss. Ball on the three. Third and goal with 4:01 left in the third. Girard rolls right with two defenders in pursuit, on the two-yard line, they lunge at him and he sidesteps the tackle attempt and scores. Extra point is good. 35-20. 

Iburi-Bethel with the return. Batavia's ball on the 33-yard line, first and 10. Leach with the carry, out to the 39. Leach breaks two tackles on the way to the Indian's 42-yard line. First and 10. Leach with the ball, picks his way to the 29. First and 10. Leach off the left side, gain of three. Leach looking tired. A blitzer gets past him and sacks Biscaro, there is a fumble but Biscaro recovers. Biscaro passes to Zack Anderson back to the original line of scrimmage. Fourth and 10. Biscaro sacked. He drops the ball. The fumble is recovered by a Batavia lineman and Biscaro is again down on the turf but limps off the field. Glens Falls takes over on downs on their own 37.

Indians call timeout after lining up in formation. Five seconds left in the third quarter.

Trent Girard with a reception for a first down.

End of the third, 35-20, Glens Falls over Batavia.

Girard loses three on a keeper. On the next play, Girard again eludes the rush but his pass falls incomplete. Girard finds Trent Girard 10-yards out, who is wide open and with no defenders behind, touchdown. Extra point is good. 42-20.

OBSERVATION: Girard is a much better QB than what Batavia saw in Patrick Hackler last week, and Hackler is very good. Girard has a better touch, can also throw bullets, throw down the field on the run without under-throwing his targets, and is very hard to contain or catch in the backfield.

On first and 10 at the 15, direct snap to Leach, who eludes all tackles and carries the ball to the 50 before stepping out of bounds. Leach on the next carry, three-yard gain. Iburi-Bethel on the end-around, big gain out to the 30. Leach, direct snap, hands it off to Iburi-Bethel who breaks a tackle in the backfield and gains a couple of yards. Leach on direct snap runs to the outside and gets enough yardage for the first down but flag on the field. Holding on Batavia. Rood in the shotgun, pump fakes, looks downfield. Iburi-Bethel is wide open. The pass is on the numbers. He drops the ball. Third and 12 with 8:47 to go. Rood swings right, pursued by Terrell Bonner-Welch who hits him from behind. Rood lost the ball but he appears to have been down. There is a penalty against Batavia. 4th and 19. Rood drops back, in the grasp of a defender, he spins and tosses the ball down the middle of the field and finds Daemon Konieczny but well short of a first down. Glens Falls takes over on downs at their own 42.

Girard is sacked for an 11-yard loss. Girard sacked again, ball now on the 21. Glens Falls will punt.

With 6:12 left, down 42-20, Batavia starts on its own 43. Leach runs left, picks up about 10 where he breaks a tackle, and he changes direction heading toward the far sideline, picks up a couple of blockers and steps out of bounds at the 21. Leach with the ball, heads to his left and finds nothing but open field to the end zone. Touchdown. Two-point try fails, 42-26 Glens Falls.

Batavia tries an onside kick but a whistle blows at the line of scrimmage. Illegal motion. Batavia will kick again from the 35. The kick fails to travel 10 yards before going out of bounds at the 40. Five-yard penalty on Batavia, first and 10 from Batavia's 35. 

Sampson with the carry for four yards. Sampson with a 25-yard carry but a flag on the play. Block below the waist, 10-yard penalty on the Indians. Sampson again, big gain, to the 22. First down. Great backfield tackle on Sampson sweeping to the left, loss of two. Sampson breaks a tackle and finds some space but Iburi-Bethel catches him and comes over his back, hanging on, trying to strip the ball, and Sampson shakes him off and scores. Extra point is no good, 48-26 Glens Falls.

Time left, 3:44.

Rood at QB, hands off to Leach, sweeping left and a five-yard gain. Ball on the 25. Batavia tries a tricky play, with snap to Rood, hand off to Leach, pitch to Iburi-Bethel who heaves the ball downfield well beyond any receivers or defenders. Rood scrambles stops, turns to throw just pass the line, and lineman T.J. Guy intercepts giving Glens Falls the ball on Batavia's 16.

Sampson on the sweep to the left. Nobody touches him. Touchdown. Extra point makes it 55-26. There was a late flag on Sampson run, a personal foul that will be enforced on the kickoff.

Glens Falls kicking off from Batavia's 45. The kick skips through the end zone.

First play from the 20, Leach with the ball, untouched through the line, all the way to the end zone for an 80-yard TD. Leach stopped on the two-point try. 55-32, Glens Falls.  

Leach is exhausted.

Penalty on Batavia's kick. Try again from the 35. And another penalty. Encouragement. Ball on the 30. After two failed onside attempts, deep kick to Sampson who bobbles the ball but recovers, and carries the ball to Glens Falls 41-yard line. Sampson with the carry, six-yard game. Sampson with a first-down carry. Sampson, no gain. Less than a minute to play. Time will expire with Glens Falls up 55-32.

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Here's the hardware they're playing for.

November 22, 2018 - 1:01pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, Batavia HS, batavia, notify.

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When you're a high school football player, it's something special to get to practice on Thanksgiving Day. It means only one thing. You're playing for a chance to win a state title.

The Batavia Blue Devils (12-0) held a walk-through practice this morning at the Batavia Middle School gym, rehearsing plays and defensive schemes in preparation for that championship match up with the Glens Falls Indians (10-2) at noon Saturday (Nov. 24) inside the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

"It was a special thing to practice on Thanksgiving and my father and I always talked about it, saying, 'wow, you know, think about it, some high school teams are practicing today,' " said Head Coach Brennen Briggs, son of Section V Hall of Fame Coach Jim Briggs. "It's finally us, so you know the hard work has paid off with all these guys and we're excited to get out there on Saturday."

Batavia got to the state final by outscoring the #1 ranked Skaneateles Lakers 54-49.

That game was the first time all season the Blue Devils faced a standout, strong-armed, athletic quarterback, in Patrick Hackler. As they turn their attention to the Indians, they're again facing a top-ranked QB, Joseph Girard III, who has a 63-percent completion rate on the season.

Again, he's big and athletic (he's all-time leading scorer in Basketball for Glens Falls, with 3,306 career points, and just signed a basketball scholarship with Syracuse).

He's also not the only member of the Girard family on the team. He's one of six cousins from a family with 75 years of athletic history in Glens Falls.

Briggs said facing Hackler and Skaneateles definately helped his team be better prepared to defend against Girard and the Indians.

"Obviously it's a very good football team over there," Briggs said. "You know we're game-planning for their quarterback and their skill positions. It's going to be a tough test for us. I think we'll be up for the challenge and you know we're hoping to get another good day of work in tomorrow."

The game plan for Batavia will come as no surprise to Glens Falls Head Coach Matt Shell: Give the ball to Ray Leach and make the Indians stop him.

So far in the postseason, every other opponent of the Blue Devils has found that impossible.

Leach has 1,223 yards rushing and has scored 22 touchdowns over the past three games, including eight touchdown performances against both Cheektowaga and Skaneateles (state playoff records). He was handed the ball 50 times against the Lakers. He set a new state record (breaking his previous week's record) with 474 yards rushing. His 50 points scored is a playoff record for New York.

Leach also intercepted a Hackler pass on defense, with Andrew Francis snagging another key interception to open the third quarter and allow Batavia to extend its lead by two touchdowns for the first time in the game.

The interceptions, perhaps, made the biggest difference and highlight a weakness for high school teams that live by the pass. Even the best high school quarterbacks are more prone to turnovers than top running backs.

Batavia's big line will be ready to pressure Girard and with Leach, Francis, and Taiyo Iburi-Bethel in the defensive secondary, the Blue Devils have the tools to disrupt the passing game.

"If we do what we do by taking care of the football, as we've done, then it should be pretty good for us," Briggs said. "I think that we've got some guys out there that are hungry to get the football once it's in the air so hopefully we can put some pressure on him, contain him, and create some turnovers."

At the end of today's practice, Briggs and his coaches told their players -- enjoy Thanksgiving with their families, be thankful for what they've got, recognize the unique position they're in -- a chance to play for a state championship, take care of themselves and be ready to go on Saturday. 

If you're not attending the game, you can listen to the WBTA broadcast (UPDATE: WBTA will stream the came on WBTAi.com) or check The Batavian for updates.

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November 17, 2018 - 8:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, news, sports, notify, football.

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PHOTOS: from Jim Burns.

In big games, big-time players come up big and Ray Leach, for the second time in the postseason, scored eight touchdowns to, quite literally, carry his team, the Batavia Blue Devils, to a 54-49 win over defending state champion Skaneateles to propel Batavia to a state title shot Saturday at the Carrier Dome.

In three games, the Section V championship, the Far West Regional championship, and today's state finals playoff game, Leach has run for 1,223 yards and scored 22 touchdowns. 

"I'm speechless, really," said Head Coach Brennan Briggs after the game. "What he does every single week is impressive. You know, when he really turns it on, I don't know that anybody is stopping him in New York State. So hopefully you know we can put together a great week and hopefully, he can have a great game for us next week along with our offensive line."

Credit to the offensive line for opening holes but Leach was also impressive in his ability to step through small gaps, side-step diving linemen, create space on sweeps, break tackles, and if all else failed, drag one or two Skaneateles players along for a few extra yards.

For the second game in a row, Leach set a state record for rushing yards in a playoff game, hitting 472 tonight (on 52 carries), breaking last week's record of 427 yards.  His eight touchdowns tied last week's record eight touchdowns.

Josh Barber, who was once again a defense stalwart, said Leach helps lift the team's confidence.

"Ray Leach has played great since his freshman year," Barber said. "I knew he could get it done."

As is his habit in post-game interviews, Leach gave credit to his offensive line but he also acknowledged that Briggs expects him to be the man on the field and get the job done.

"I definitely got to come out hear him perform how I'm supposed to, and I just follow my line and things work out," Leach said.

Skaneateles came into the game 11-0, ranked #1, and behind quarterback Patrick Hackler one of the most potent offensives in the state. Hackler is a big kid and impressive when he heaves long passes downfield. With Nick Wamp as a frequent target and Areh Boni in the backfield, the Lakers kept the pressure on Batavia's defense all night.

Hackler was 17-30 passing for 260 yards and three TDs. He also ran for 149 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns. Wamp caught seven passes for 145 yards and two TDs. Boni ran for 64 yards and a TD.

Both teams came into the game with an unblemished streak of never trailing at any point in any game during the season. Batavia ruined the Laker's out-front run on its first drive, with Leach carrying the ball on all six plays, including the final 15-yard run to score.

Skaneateles would tie the game three times but with Batavia up 28-21 to start the second half, Andrew Francis intercepted Hackler on the first play from scrimmage setting up a Blue Devils drive that extended the lead but was only possible because Ethan Biscaro was able to scramble on a busted pass play, making his way to the far sideline, where he dodged Lakers down the line for a more than 20-yard gain, giving Batavia a first down on what had been a third-and-long play.

"Ethan's a fantastic athlete," Briggs said. He's got a great sense for the game. He knew exactly what he needed to do when he extended the play. He's a great football player."

From the Lakers' 47, Leach sprinted to the five-yard line and then scored on the next play.

Leach also led the team with 9 tackles and he had a key interception near the end of the third quarter.

Skaneateles still had a chance in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns, including one on a 54-second drive that pulled them within five points, but Batavia was, as Briggs preaches, relentless, and answer the Lakers score for score.

"You know he (Leach) is an unbelievable player but up front, they got a job and they got the job done all night defensively," Briggs said. "Obviously there were some holes in there but that's a very good football team. Our kids banded together. They bend but they don't break."

For more game pictures click HERE

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November 17, 2018 - 3:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, Batavia HS, batavia.

TO LISTEN TO THIS GAME, Tune in to WBTA.

Batavia received the kickoff. First play from scrimmage, Ray Leach gained about 30 yards. On the six play of the drive, with Leach carrying the ball on all six plays, Leach scores from the 15. Extra point is good, 7-0 Batavia.

Skaneateles second play from scrimmage is a 15-yard pass by Patrick Hackler for a first down. On the fourth play, Hackler breaks free on a keeper from the 45, carrying it to the Blue Devils' 25. Areh Boni scores on a handoff from Hackler from the 25 after a couple of incomplete passes. Extra point is good; 7-7.

Leach gets the ball on the first play of the drive for a five-yard gain. Leach gets the first down on the next play. Next play, Leach breaks through the line and carries the ball to the Lakers' 11-yard line. Leach again, for six yards. Puts the ball just short of the four-yard line. The Lakes manage to hold Leach to just a one-yard gain making it third and two. Leach scores from the two. Extra point is good; 14-7.

Lakers start next series on the 36. Hackler connects on the first play for 50 yards to Nick Wamp. Hackler on a keeper gains four yards. Hackler tries for the corner of the end zone and misses. Pitch to Areh Boni, held to a short gain. Skaneateles loses 10 yards on a holding penalty. On a fourth-down play from the 34, Hackler has to scramble and fails to reach the first-down marker. Batavia takes over on downs.

From the 28, Leach gains six yards on the first play. Leach stopped for a loss. Ball on the 32. Ethan Biscaro on a keeper. He reaches the 34 bringing up fourth and three. Batavia punts. Wamp receives the punt on the 30 but a flag on the play. The penalty is against Skaneateles. 

The Lakers series starts at their 19-yard line. A two-yard run by Boni. 

End of the first quarter, Batavia 14, Skaneateles 7.

The second quarter begins with Skaneateles on its own 22-yard line, second down. Hackler completes a 10-yard pass followed by a screen pass for a one-yard gain. Boni gains more than 20 yards on a run, putting the ball on the Blue Devils' 46. Taiyo Iburi-Bethel breaks up a long pass, bringing up second and 10. Boni rushes for three yards. Third and seven. Hackler scrambles pursued to the sideline where he dumps it off to Nathan Mulligan for a first down. Ball on the 32. Handoff to Nick Wamp stopped after a five-yard gain. Boni gains three, third and two. Keeper, Hackler for the first down. Ball on the Blue Devils' first down. Heckler on a keeper. Blue Devils close up a big hole quickly and stop him at the 12-yard line. Hackler overthrows William McGlynn. Offsides on the Blue Devils. First down for Skaneateles on the seven-yard line. Boni with the carry, gains two. Hackler on the keeper. Extra point is good; 14-14.

Short kickoff snagged in the air by Zack Anderson, who steps out of bounds at the 42. Leach dragged down from behind after a two-yard gain. Flag on the play. Holding on Batavia. It will be first and 20 from the 32. Biscaro attempts a 30-yard pass, dropped by the receiver. Leach breaks three tackles, gains 70 yards before he's tripped up on the one-yard line. First and goal. Leach scores. Extra point is good. 21-14, Batavia.

Nick Wamp takes the kickoff and is stopped by Leach with a hard-hit at the 34-yard line. Screen pass to Wamp, who picks his way through the defense for a 30-yard gain. Hackler's long pass skips into the arms of his receiver for an incomplete. Wamp rushes for six yards, bringing up third and four. Hackler on a keeper to the 22-yard line for a first down. Hackler tries to connect with McGlynn in the end zone, ball knocked away by Iburi-Bethel. Hackler carries on an option for a first down, first-and-10 at 10-yard line. Hackler's to Wamp on the six is complete. Hackler on the keeper, breaks through the line and scores. Extra point is good; 21-21.

Batavia starts its series on the 39-yard line. Skaneateles calls a timeout. Ray Leach gains 10 on the first play. Leach gains five. Leach gains four. Leach gains five, first down, ball on the Lakers' 41. Leach with another first down. Ball on the 24. Leach just short on his next carry of the first-down marker. Leach tiptoes through the line, finds a small hole, gains four and gets the first down. First and goal on the nine. Leach carries, carrying defenders to the one-yard line. Leach scores. Extra point is good; 28-21.

And the half ends with Batavia up 28-21. The Blue Devils will kick off to start the second half.

Skaneateles starts the half at the 49. First play, Hackler goes long and is picked off by Batavia's Andrew Francis. 

Batavia on its own 18. Leach stopped at the line of scrimmage on the first play. Delay of game, second and 15 at the 14. Leach sweeps to the near-side and gains seven. Biscaro drops back and then scrambles to the far-side and picks his way along the sideline to the Lakers' 47 for a first down. Leach on the next play carries the ball to the five-yard line. Leach from the five, scores. Extra point is good; 35-21. This is the first two-possession lead for the Blue Devils (this is also the first game all year that Skaneateles, who came in at 11-0, has ever trailed).

Leach has five TDs and more than 300 yards on the ground. He has more than 1,000 yards over three post-season games.

Nate Wellington takes the kickoff down to the eight-yard line of the Blue Devils, first and goal. Nick Wamp carries it to the four-yard line. Hackler sweeps right to the two-yard line, but the play is negated by a holding call. Second and 17. Hackler to Nick Wamp for the touchdown. Extra point good; 35-28.

Ethan Biscaro on the kickoff return, brings it back to the Lakers 45. Leach stopped at the line. Leach for a five-yard gain. False start. Third and 10. Leach held to only four yards on his next carry. Brings up fourth and eight. Batavia will go for it. Biscaro's pass is incomplete. Lakers take over on downs.

Skaneateles takes over on their own 43 and Hackler is stopped for no gain on the first play. Hackler passed to Nate Wellington who is hit immediately by Leach, for a five-yard gain. Hackler's next pass falls incomplete. On fourth and five, Hackler completes a pass in the flat but is two-yards short of the first down. Batavia takes over on downs.

Batavia starts on its own 47. Leach pushes through the line for a seven-yard gain. Leach stopped at the line by penetration from the line, Jimmy Liberatore making the initial hit on Leach. Biscaro tries to sweep to the far sideline and comes up short of the first down but he is face-masked and Skaneateles is assessed a 15-yard penalty.  Ball on the 30. Leach is the ball carrier and gets it to the 15-yard line for a first down. Leach gains seven on next run. Leach takes a direct snap and gets it to the first down. Biscaro on the carry to the two. Second and goal. Leach scores. His sixth touchdown on the night. Extra point is good; 42-28.

Skaneateles starts on their own 47. Leach intercepts a long pass from Hackler on the 10-yard line and brings it back to the 25-yard line. 

First and 10, Batavia at the 25.

End of the third quarter, Batavia 42, Skaneateles, 28. Short gain for Leach. Biscaro, looking to pass, hustles out of bounds for a loss. Batavia will punt.

From the Blue Devils' 39, Hackler with a run for eight yards. Hackler connects with Nick Wamp for a first down inside the 10-yard line. Hackler tries a keeper and is dragged down in the backfield. Hackler to Boni in the flat but Boni stumbles and falls, with nobody between him and the end zone, on the five-yard line. Third down. Hackler up the middle, stopped on the two-yard line by Josh Barber. Hackler with a light toss to William McGlynn for the touchdown. Extra point is good. 42-35, Batavia leads.

Skaneateles tries an onside kick and recovers but the ball doesn't go 10 yards. Batavia's ball on the Lakes' 49. Leach carries for nine and then on next carry takes it to the 32 for a first down. Leach gains seven. Leach brings the ball to the 16. First down. Leach scores. That's his seventh TD. Extra point is blocked; 48-35. 

Lakers' ball on their own 42, first and 10. Hackler takes the ball to the 49, second and three. Hackler stands tall in the pocket and finds Nick Wamp in the flat for a first down. Ball on the 34. Hackler to Wamp, 13-yard gain and a first down. Hackler runs, gains six and he makes it out of bounds. Pass to Wamp in the flat, who gets a good block and scores. Extra point is good; 48-42. The drive took only 54 seconds off the clock.

Skaneateles tries another on-side kick, recovered by Andrew Francis, ball on the Lakers' 47, first and 10. Leach stopped in the backfield. Second and 11. Leach breaks free on a sweep for a 48-yard TD run, his eighth TD. Two-point conversion fails; 54-42, Batavia.

Nate Wellington picks up a squib kick and is tripped up on the Lakers' 38-yard line, first and 10. Hackler pass falls incomplete. Hackler to Nick Wamp, putting the ball on the Blue Devils' 34. Hackler sprints out of bounds to the 18-yard line, first down. Hackler's pass into the corner of the end zone, incomplete. Defended by Andrew Francis. Hackler on a keeper up the middle to the four-yard line, another first down. Hackler on a sweep, scores. Extra point good; 54-49.

Batavia recovers another on-side kick. First and 10 at 50-yard line. 2:19 left in the game. No gain on the first play and the Lakes call a timeout. Leach with the carry for six, bringing up third and four. Leach for the first down. Lakers take a timeout. Leach for two yards. Leach for another three. One minute left with a third down play.

BATAVIA WINS, 54-49.

November 11, 2018 - 12:04am
posted by James Burns in news, sports, Batavia Blue Devils, football, Batavia HS.

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In a record-breaking season the Batavia Blue Devils will continue in the battle for a state championship after their win Saturday over Cheektowaga 28 to 56.

Hours before the game I asked someone from the coaching staff how the Blue Devils did preparing this week. He said he has never seen them so ready. He was right, they were ready. Apparently the Blue Devils are peaking at the right time.  

The offense was about as one-dimensional as it could get in tonight's game, it was all Ray Leach. Leach, tonight’s MVP, rushed for a NYS record setting 427 yards and eight touchdowns on 29 attempts. Don’t think he was all the Batavia offense had to offer, but he was more than they needed to defeat Cheektowaga. 

Leach did not do it all on his own, the front line opened up more than a few holes Leach could have walked through at his leisure and the other key offensive players made selfless blocks and served to distract Cheektowaga’s defense.

Like all true companionship contending teams, the Blue Devils defense was up to the task this evening. They made huge stops in the first half that kept Cheektowaga out of the game. Without stellar defensive plays it may have only been a seven-point game at the half instead of 8 to 36 Batavia. In the third quarter the defense put up a few points of their own with a safety. 

Coach Brennan Briggs congratulated the team after their victory and said “There are only four teams left in the state, why not us? Let's take it to the dome.” 

The Batavia Blue Devils will now face Skaneateles in Binghamton at 3 p.m. next Saturday, Nov. 17th.

For more photos of the game click HERE.

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November 6, 2018 - 1:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports, football.

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Blue Devils running back Ray Leach was named the Section V Class B Player of the Year and Coach Brennan Briggs was named Coach of the Year.

The awards come after Batavia secured another Section V championship Saturday, knocking off the Wayne Eagles, 48-14.

Though Briggs has led four teams in five years to Section V championships, this is his first Coach of the Year award. It's also the first Player of the Year award for Leach, a senior.

On the year, Leach has 127 carries for 1,714 yards, which averages 13.5 yards a carry, along with 27 rushing touchdowns. He has 10 receptions for 361 yards and three TDs. 

On his career at Batavia HS, he has 4,476 rushing yards and 66 TDs. He has 635 all-purpose yards and 90 touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of Batavia High School.

November 4, 2018 - 1:20am
posted by James Burns in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, football.

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Batavia Blue Devils faced the Wayne Eagles for the Class B Sec V Class final at St. John Fisher College Saturday night. Most everything has been falling Batavia’s way this season and that included the game's coin toss. Batavia won and elected to receive. 

On the game's opening kick Wayne went for an onside kick, or their kicker shanked it, no one was sure, but the play ended with Wayne recovering the ball in Batavia territory. The Batavia defense held Wayne and after three downs they punted but Batavia coughed up the ball again on a fumble. This time Wayne was able to capitalize on the turnover and scored. 

For the first time this season Batavia was behind in a game.

Late in the first quarter, Batavia was able to get up on the board with a touchdown, but in more uncharacteristic play, they failed to convert and missed the field goal. The first quarter ended Batavia 6 Wayne 7.  

After some back and forth Batavia was able to break through and score with four and a half minutes left in the first half, then again with three minutes left and again with 40 seconds left in the half. At the end of the first half Batavia led 28 to 7. 

Batavia made sure Wayne understood they were in charge and there was no way they were going to let them back into the game. Batavia started the second half scoring again only 20 seconds in. Batavia 35, Wayne 7. 

After a few substitutions by Batavia, they led by 49 to 7. Wayne was able to put a few more points up on the board in the fourth. 

The final score Batavia 49, Wayne 14.

Ray Leach hit a season-high with 344 yards and six TDs. Alec Rood ran for 59 yards.

Ethan Biscaro went 5 for 9 passing for 112 yards and 1TD and another interception on defense. 

 Taio lburi-Bethel had four receptions for 110 yards and one TD.

For more pictures of the game click HERE

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October 27, 2018 - 10:52pm
posted by James Burns in news, sports, Batavia HS, football.

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The trouble with averaging over 40 points per game, with the majority of those points usually coming in the first half, is people get nervous when you lead at half time by only 7 points. Even if you made big stops on defense and move the ball on offense better than the other team.

The buzz at the half, in the stands and with those huddled in the concession area trying to stay dry, was one of worry for the Blue Devils. What did they have to worry about? Absolutely nothing. 

Why were the fans worried? Well, at the half there was a little kerfuffle in which both teams stormed the field then stopped short of each other. Then Batavia calmly went off to their own end zone for a quick halftime meeting.

Honeoye Falls-Lima seemed to feel that keeping favored Batavia to only 7 points in the first half was a victory in itself and HF-L celebrated a bit before heading off to the locker room.

To many of the Batavia fans, who expected another trademark Batavia rout by halftime, it seemed HF-L had the momentum and was poised to control the second half. It never happened. Batavia controlled the game as they did in the first half in the second; the difference being they also scored 22 points.

Ethan Biscaro led the team as QB going 4 for 5 with two TDs and a big interception on defense.

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Ray Leach wore the HF-L defense down and started the second half with an 84-yard run for a TD that killed any psychological advantage HF-L may have had. Leach had a 175-yard game.

Alex Rood and Taiyo Iburi-Bethel each had receptions for TDs.

Final score Batavia 29, HF-L 0. Batavia moves on in the playoffs to face Wayne.

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To see more pictues from the game click here

October 21, 2018 - 11:00pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia HS, batavia, sports.

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Batavia High School inducted its 2018 Athletic Hall of Fame honorees during a dinner at Terry Hills on Saturday evening.

Pictured above are, front row from left Coleen Tooley Oleski, Gerry Carmichael, Michelle Smith Jones, and back row from left Steve Frieday, Jon Santratello, and Rich Anderson. Below, the 1994-1995 Blue Devils hockey team.

Previously: Batavia Blue Devils Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner is next Saturday

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October 19, 2018 - 11:55pm
posted by James Burns in sports, batavia, football, news, Batavia HS.

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Now that the Sec V playoffs are starting to get real, the question becomes how real are the Batavia Blue Devils? If anyone had any doubt the Blue Devils gave them their answer in 26 seconds. After just a couple of plays, and barely any time off of the clock, Batavia led Newark 7 to 0.  

Newark then was unable to get anything going on their possession and had to punt. Ethan Biscaro fielded the punt, fumbled it, recovered his own fumble, then ran 78 yards for a TD punt return. Batavia led 14 to 0 and they were only two minutes into the game. 

Batavia’s defense dominated Newark’s offense again on their next set of downs and Newark was forced to punt. Batavia had an unforced turnover on the next possession and Newark recovered the ball. Newark was able to capitalize and scored a TD. Batavia 14 Newark 6.  

That was as close as Newark would ever come to mounting any real threat to Batavia. Batavia scored on their next few possessions. Even by going for it on a 4thand 6. Batavia continued to drive the field and score almost at will. The first quarter ended with Batavia leading 28 to 6.

The rest of the game was all Batavia. They led at the half by 42 to 6. The Batavia defense would not let Newark into the game and put some points up on the board themselves’ with a safety in the third quarter

After a lot of substitutions by Batavia, Newark put up the only points of the fourth quarter scoring 8. Final Score Batavia 51, Newark 14.

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October 18, 2018 - 4:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in news, Batavia HS, batavia, veterans.

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Students and staff at Batavia High School are hosting a ceremony honoring Genesee County's veterans at 10 a.m. Friday Nov. 9 at the school.

The ceremony will be held in the auditorium. There will be performances from the high school band and chorus, a student representative speaker, and a keynote speaker, and a reception after the ceremony in the school's library.

The ceremony is open to all local veterans and their families. Veterans who plan to attend should email Jane Haggett, [email protected]. Veterans are invited to include a picture with their response.

Photo: Students Cooper Mattice, Ryan Weaver, Elle Fulton, and Lyndsay Debo. Not pictured, Gyna Gibson, whom Haggett said was the real driving force behind organizing this year's event at the school.

September 29, 2018 - 12:52pm
posted by Steve Ognibene in batavia, Batavia HS, sports, football, news.

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Van Detta Stadium -- home for football, track and field, soccer and other sporting events -- has shared many memories in the last 90 years in Batavia.

The Batavia Blue Devils won their first game against Medina 31-0 on this day in 1928. Batavia faced Attica last night for its Homecoming game and won 49-6. The stadium, field, and track will get a complete makeover starting in the next couple weeks as construction will begin and be completed by August 2019. 

Batavia game highlights: Ray Leach scored four touchdowns on 13 carries for 280 yards. Ethan Biscaro was seven for eight, passing 137 yards.  Taiyo Iburi-Bethel had three catches for 79 yards. Josh Barber had 11 tackles.

Homecoming classes were announced at halftime. The 2019 Senior Class won Spirit Week with back-to-back consecutive Homecoming year wins. Senior Kristin Gloskowski was named Queen and Griffin Dellapenna was named King. Moments after being announced, Griffin then passed his crown hat to classmate Thomas Ognibene during the royalty announcements. 

The Batavia Varsity cheerleaders performed their routine followed by the pep band; then fans and alumni took to Woodward Field to honor its legacy. Carlyle M Johnson, 91, played football for Batavia High School and is pictured below with alumni.

Some history was read by announcer Paul Spiotta: “In 1927, the site of this field was given to Batavia City School District by Ernest L. Woodward and his wife, founder of Jell-O in Le Roy, through a friendship of Andrew J. McWaine, of Batavia. who was the publisher and owner of the Batavia Daily News.

"On Sept. 29 1928, the first Batavia football game was played and Batavia defeated Medina 31-1. In 1938, the current stadium was built. In 1974, the current stadium was named in honor of a special man, teacher, patriot, coach and friend, for the complete development of young people, a humanitarian who has left his mark on many men, Daniel A. Van Detta."

To view or purchase photos go here: https://steveognibenephotography.zenfolio.com/p403809773

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September 22, 2018 - 1:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, sports, news, batavia, Batavia HS.


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The Batavia Blue Devils continued their dominance of opponents this season, this time with a 41-26 win over Windsor.

Ray Leach ran for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries and added 97 more yards and a TD on four receptions, for 327 all-purpose yards.

Ethan Biscaro was 10-11 passing for 140 yards and two TDs.

Taiyo Iburi-Bethel had a 71-yard touchdown run.

Josh Barber had nine tackles, including a sack. Alex Rood and Ethan Biscaro each had eight tackles and a sack and Biscaro added an interception.

Also on Friday night, Alexander beat Bolivar-Richburg 52-0 and Pembroke lost to Perry/Mt. Morris 30-8.

UPDATE Saturday, Sept.22: Officials corrected the stats for Ethan Biscaro; the story originally stated he had a perfect 10-10 passing. The figure was revised today to 10-11.

Photos by Steve Ognibene.

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September 21, 2018 - 10:22am
posted by Howard B. Owens in van detta stadium, batavia, Batavia HS, sports.

Press release:

There have been many Batavia High School homecoming games played in the Daniel A. Van Detta Stadium at Woodward Field, but plans for the homecoming football game against Attica on Friday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m., will make this one particularly memorable.

“We wanted to honor the legacy of the stadium as well as thank the community for their support of the 2020 Vision Capital Project,” said Batavia City School District (BCSD) Superintendent of Schools Christopher J. Dailey.

The District-wide capital project includes a transformation of the current stadium and grounds and features increased track and field lanes; the replacement of grass with a synthetic field; a new press box, bleachers, and score board; and expanded parking. Construction is expected to begin next month and be completed by August 2019.

First, however, with recognition and gratitude in mind, District Athletic Director Mike Bromley proposed and the District quickly approved an expansion of the traditional Homecoming festivities.

First, all fans will be admitted for free and, due to the anticipated overflow crowd that is expected, a bus shuttle will be available at approximately 10-minute intervals from the main bus loop in front of Batavia High School from 6:30-7:30 p.m., then again returning fans to BHS at the conclusion of the game. At half-time, in addition to the traditional Homecoming Court announcements, there will be a brief ceremony to acknowledge the distinguished past while looking forward to an illustrious future.

Bromley, issuing a special invitation, said,  “Anyone who has performed at Van Detta Stadium through the years -- including but not limited to students and staff who have been involved in football, soccer, track and field, lacrosse, cheerleading, and pep band -- are invited to be part of the celebration and step out on the field one more time when we call all former participants down from the bleachers for the half-time ceremony.”

“We always look forward to Batavia Homecoming, and this year we are also looking forward to honoring the outstanding history of athleticism, school and community spirit, sportsmanship, and, of course, wins, at the Daniel A. Van Detta Stadium at Woodward Field,” Superintendent Dailey said.

“We anticipate many more years of the same once the stadium is renovated, and can hardly wait to start building those memories!”

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